Canning, research and goat updates

I canned for the first time today.  It seemed to go well.  I made tomato soup out of the tomatoes that I baked the other night.  As soon as the cans cool, I’ll put them up and start another batch tomorrow or the next day.  Being the good little recycling doo-bee that I’ve become, I saved the water in the canning pot and will re-use it tomorrow AM to water plants with.  There may be enough tomatoes in the garden now to make another batch, but it’s bloody hot outside and I really don’t want to go out.  I’m such a baby when it comes to the heat.

Around noon I brought the sheep and Rose up to the fenced-in area where they can have shade.  I’ll bring them back down tonight when there’s shade available. 

Buster has already had two bottles today.  I have another one sitting on the countertop to feed him later this evening.  I feel better feeding him several small meals a day rather than two large ones.

I followed-up on Luna, Penny, Dusty and Rain’s baby with the contracted tendons.  They are all doing well.  The baby’s legs are getting better each day.  She’s been splinting them every other day and it seems to be working.  They love her and she’s become quite the pet.  Luna and Penny have been perfect angels on the milking stand.  Good girls.

I spoke to Raspberry’s breeder this morning for about a half hour.  She’s a wealth of information.  Glad that all worked out the way it did.  Unfortunately I cannot get Raspberry’s papers because there is a question as to which buck bred her mother.  Some breedings take place while the owner of the dairy is at the farmer’s market and sometimes things don’t get written down.  It really doesn’t matter.  I don’t care much about papers.

Finally, I started to look for sources of bulk kelp and stumbled on this web site.  I’ve been here before and considered their products then, but darned are they expensive.  Their goat food looks wonderful and I’d love to be able to feed organic grain, but I simply can’t afford $24/bag.  I am currently paying $14/bag which is high enough.  This company will mix up the mineral mix as detailed in Pat Coleby’s natural sheep book and that may be an option.  I considered offering each mineral seperately free choice, but that many different containers (one each for copper sulphate, dolomite, sulphur and kelp) and keeping the minerals out of the weather would be difficult.  The owner of the company told me that one woman was offering kelp free choice to her sheep and they went mad for it, so much so that it interfered with their iron intake and they all died from anemia.  Not sure if that would be a problem for my sheep or not, but too much kelp can lead to health issues.  The feed store where I buy my grain has a sheep mineral that does contain copper that I may try.  I do know I need to get on the ball and keep minerals available for both the sheep and goats.  The primary problem with Countryside Natural is getting their products.  There is a woman out Asheville way who distributes and apparently a few in Charlotte.  Things to think about.

Until later …